The concept of mutual aid in times of emergency is the keynote of the RECSO Agreement, originally drawn up in 1972 to maintain in readiness at all times, defined minima of oil spill response equipment and oil dispersant chemicals for use in emergency situations if required.
These equipment/materials must be made available to a member company when requested in order to assist in pollution response.
The most significant feature of the original (and subsequent) agreements is the provision for voluntary liability for the clean-up cost of other member companies when a member company is responsible for oil pollution.
Several revisions have been made to the original RECSO Agreement. The current agreement came into effect on August 2002 after been revised.